Gov. Phil Murphy speaks Tuesday, April 28, during his daily briefing on the state’s efforts to combat the coronavirus pandemic and provide relief to those impacted by the crisis. — Photo by Edwin Torres/Governor’s Office
By Joshua Burd
Municipalities in New Jersey may now extend by one month the grace period for quarterly property tax payments that are due on May 1, Gov. Phil Murphy announced Tuesday.
Under a newly signed executive order, local governments now have the option to move the due date for second-quarter payments to June 1, Murphy said. It is one of the state’s latest moves to help soften the financial blow of the coronavirus crisis, providing additional breathing room to property owners before a municipality may begin to charge interest or a penalty.
The order was effective immediately.
“Allowing municipalities the option of extending the grace period for May property tax payments is the right thing to do as many New Jerseyans are impacted financially as a result of this crisis,” Murphy said. “Leaders of towns and cities across the state have been trying to find ways to lessen the blow on local residents, and with this action, they are empowered to provide relief to homeowners as we continue to do everything possible to fight this pandemic.”
Under existing law, towns may only allow for a grace period of up to 10 days after the property tax deadline without interest or penalty. In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, the law was amended to allow towns that have experienced a flood, hurricane, tornado or other natural disaster to extend the grace period for up to a month in certain circumstances.
There is currently no mechanism in the law to allow municipalities to extend the grace period as a result of a public health-related emergency, the governor’s office said. Executive Order 130 allows towns to extend the period for property tax payments due on May 1 to June 1, which will enable property owners to pay their taxes a month after they are due without incurring any interest costs or penalties.
“We understand that many property owners are coping with financial challenges they’ve never had to face before as a result of this pandemic and we are considering every option available to answer their calls for help,” said Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver, who also serves as commissioner of the Department of Community Affairs. “Allowing municipalities to institute this grace period will afford New Jersey property owners who need it some extra time to get their finances in order so they can submit their quarterly property tax payments by June 1st.”
The order will take effect immediately.